Meanwhile, other recent studies have drawn connections between Arctic amplification and changes in the behavior of atmospheric circulation in fall and winter, fueling extreme weather like the powerful snowstorms that buried the U.S. East Coast in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 (ClimateWire, Sept. 13).
But predicting how those changes in atmospheric circulation will affect a specific area is difficult, Overland said.
"The normal jet stream weather is very chaotic, so it's virtually impossible to predict exactly where these droughts or added snowstorms would be in any particular year, including this upcoming winter," he said.
"But in the long term, we're down to 50 percent [Arctic sea] ice cover in the summer, compared to the long-term average. In another couple decades, we'll probably be down to 80 percent open water. As we move in that direction, you will increase the probability of these north-south linkages of climate and weather."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500